Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Kuwait pledges $2bn for Iraq reconstruction

Kuwait pledges $2bn for Iraq reconstruction

During the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq happening in Kuwait, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that rebuilding Iraq would be an enormous and challenging undertaking, but voiced optimism in Iraq's ability to recover and thrive thanks to its people and resources.

"Iraq's security and stability is part and parcel of the security and stability of Kuwait and the region", Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah told participants in the conference.

Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait to mull efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State (IS) group militants who seized nearly a third of the country before being beaten back.

Saudi Arabia has pledged $1.5 billion to help rebuild Iraq after the war with the Islamic State group.

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Wednesday is the last day for the funding to come forward at the summit held in Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.

The Kuwaiti summit brought together NGO's and countries alike to negotiate an assistance package that would help Iraq rebuild itself after 15 years of armed conflict, dating back to the 2003 U.S. invasion and culminating with the recent devastation inflicted by the "Islamic State" insurgency. Saudi Arabia pledged $1.5 billion.

Kuwait's donation particularly was in many ways stunning as only a generation ago, Saddam Hussein invaded the small, oil-rich nation.

The victory came at a steep cost for Mosul, as coalition airstrikes and extremist suicide auto bombs destroyed homes and government buildings. Only half of them have returned to their home towns.

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Dozens of countries around the world have participated in the conference with the aim to invest and provide aid to the war-torn country.

"Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it's about improving people's lives", said United Nations' Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.

However, the USA has offered an over $3 billion package for Iraq from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Qatar, meanwhile, remains boycotted by four Arab nations, including three in the Gulf, which has split the typically clubby relations among the nations.

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